Right from the time your baby is able to lift their head up on their own until the time they are able to stand up on their two little feet and walk on their own, you will be there by their side, helping and cheering them along. In order to ensure that your baby grows and develops in the right way, you should ensure that they get the right nutrition as per their age.
With each developmental milestone, your baby’s nutrition needs keep changing. When a baby first starts eating solids, they will still need to rely on breast milk for the majority of their nutrition because they will not be able to eat too much. They may not take to solids very easily at first. Don’t worry about it - your baby will slowly start to prefer solids more than breast milk. Continue to feed breast milk (or equivalent formula) for the first 12 months at least.
Few babies may take more time than others to get used to solids. Eventually, after several months, you will finally witness your baby eating their food all by themselves. Ah! What a sight that would be. Here is a breakdown of how your baby’s nutritional needs are going to keep changing with time:
During this time, your baby will get his/her nutrition solely from breast milk and/or formula milk. The baby will have a natural tendency to turn their head to root, suckle and gag when you simply touch their cheek.
They will now begin to show signs that they are ready to have solid foods. By 6 months, they would be able to pick up food, bring it toward their mouth and chew/mash it with their gums. They will usually get their first tooth by the time they are 6 months old.
These are the months when babies will finally get to taste all that yummy solid food. Start with mashed fruits and vegetables. You should be able to spoon feed your baby. He/She will be able to drink from a cup as well.
Your baby will now be able to eat softly cooked foods like meat or grains and should be able to digest yoghurt as well. Avoid introducing whole wheat if your family has a history of wheat-based allergies.
Babies of this age would be able to eat on their own with a spoon (be prepared for a mess!), bite the food and maybe even chew with their lips closed.
Your baby will now be able to chew their food properly. They will be able to scoop up food using a spoon with minimal spills. Your baby may also start being picky about foods at this age although it more common after they turn 2 years.
Get ready because this is the age when your baby will get real picky about what they eat. On the bright side, they will be able to eat on their own and even wipe their mouth with a napkin once they are done.
TIP: Serve a small amount of food, wait for them to finish it and then give them more if they are hungry.
This is only a general guide to your baby’s nutritional milestones. Your baby should roughly meet them within the age limits given here, give or take a week or so. If your baby isn’t meeting these milestones, you can ask your doctor as to how you can feed your baby better. You can also ask your doctor to guide you on what you should feed your baby, what not to feed your baby and when to feed them.
Note- This blog has been reviewed by Tinystep Medical Advisory Board
Disclaimer- All the information provided in the blog is for reference purposes only. Please do not consider this as a medical advice. Start Healthy Stay Healthy programme is for educational purposes only, in partnership with doctors. Always consult a doctor if you have any questions related to your own health or the health of your child.